Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Obama Administration Launches

" Strong Cities, Strong Communities "

New Initiative to Support Local Economic Growth

By Althea Dixon

Blacks4Barack Org.

White House Correspondent

Domestic Policy Director Melody Barnes said that after listening to the feedback from leaders across the country, the Administration came up with a plan to partner with the leaders to build Strong Cities, Strong Communities!

This is an innovative pilot project designed to help stimulate and strengthen economic growth on the local level by eliminating red tape and the usual barriers with a more effective use of federal resources.

Communities around the nation will be eligible to compete for grant monies that are designed to perk up local community economic planning that will be innovative in stimulating empowerment, vision and participation of citizens in the well fare and development of the areas where they live.

Strong Cities Strong Communities (SC2) channels the resources of the federal government to help empower cities with their local aspirations to strengthen their neighborhoods by using these strategic methods:

Providing assistance and support – working with local communities to find ground up, not top down solutions:

Providing on the ground technical assistance and planning resources tailored to local governments’ needs and helping them use the federal funds they already receive more efficiently and effectively; and Partnering for growth:

Developing critical partnerships with key local and regional stakeholders that encompass not only municipal and state governments, but also new partnerships with the business community, non-profits, anchor institutions, faith-based institutions, and other public, private, and philanthropic leaders.

There are four components to the SC2 Pilot: Community assistance teams that will work directly with cities to support mayors in selected cities around the nation. SC2 Fellowship Program will train, select and place those that will assist with implementation. SC2 Planning Challenge to help additional cities develop economic blueprints to be able to take advantage of the grant competition opportunities.

SC2 pilot cities were selected on the basis of economic need, strong local leadership and collaboration, potential for economic growth, geographic diversity, and the ability to test the SC2 model across a range of environments. Federal assessment teams spent time on the ground working directly with mayors and other local officials to determine needs, opportunities and gather input for the pilot initiative.

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